Monday, May 31, 2010


Lots of things going through my mind right now.

We just returned from Garrett's state track meet. He finished 8th in the 100 and they were DQ'd, for a lane violation, in the 4x100. All in all they had a great time and the boy's team, which Garrett was on both the golf and track team, were the top academic team in the 1B state. Smart and athletic. As I was there with the students I realized again that we are so blessed to have such a great collection of young people. Zero issues while away, no relationships to watch, no bickering, just a group of kids who, for the most part, love Jesus and want to be good teammates and friends to those around them. God is so kind.

On a different note, but sort of the same, the entire relationship issue is back on my front porch. While I do not claim to have all the answers for all of life's questions I do have some history with young people and their struggles. In some ways it was a long time ago that I was young, though it seems like just yesterday, and in some ways I can't believe that my 3 bios are now grown up. T and I have been involved with the youth ministry of our church for some, I'm not exactly sure- maybe 13-14 year- and we have seen many similar things take place. Girls chasing boys and boys chasing girls. Sometimes parents pushing more than the students. I was a boy who chased a lot of girls and this makes me realize how hurtful this will be to these young men when they are old like I am now.

I have seen so many relationships turn out poorly that it makes me sad when I give a warning and the warning is discarded. I am not saying, again, that I have the corner on the market of wisdom here, I am saying that I have seen many, many of these relationships and almost every single one turns out the same way; student's hearts broken and parents no longer talking to each other because they think that it is always the other parent's fault that this has turned out poorly.

If your student is going through school, don't push them to have a date all the time, don't push them to always have a "special friend" that they can be exclusive with, don't rush the process that God can bring into focus perfectly if we just wait on Him. When the time is right, HE, not me or you, will bring it perfectly into place. When we rush ahead and try to make our own program, it seems like someone always gets hurt.

As a youth staff person, my "job" is to partner with parents who are trying to raise students who love Jesus more than anything or anyone else. It would be awesome to always have great partners in this process. That doesn't always happen and I am not always the best partner either- sin often gets in the way. I want to be open and available to assist in the process that so many desire to have more insight into. My dad always says that you can't help but get smart if you hang around in school all the time, and I guess that's the way I feel with the length of time we have spent with students- I can't help but learn something.

Bottom line- I want the young men in our ministry to love Jesus right now and until they go to Heaven. I want them to be able to resist temptation that so easily get them side tracked and girls are generally in that mix. I want them to set their affections on things that are above and not dwell in the lower lands of "Vanity Fair"- to keep their eyes fixed on the prize and run the race that is set out for them. I want them to be leaders; as there are lots of followers looking for someone to lead them. I want them to be Christ like men. That's what I want for me and that's also what I want for them.

Ours is a serious battle for the hearts of our young people and we must be taking that battle seriously. Many are trying to steal the hearts of our students and we need to watch and pray for their souls. Parents- that's your job and it's my job as a staff leader as well. I love my job:) Especially when we can hand them off to the next ministry and they are well prepared for what is coming.

Please pray for our students and the clay pots who are leading them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PG Update

Life is so crazy; one day we are really busy and the next we are desiring to have more work. Our month thus far has been one pretty full of leads and many seem to be good leads, but quite a few of them are just not ready to commit. This makes our install schedule lighter than we would like because there are not as many jobs to choose from.

Please pray for signed contracts- people who are ready to install and for God's continued gracious provision for PG and all those who are connected to us. He has brought us a long way and in difficult times and He can continue to do the same and more if that is His plan.

Waiting patiently for His provision. He is an amazing Provider- I must not try to run ahead.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Senior Chapel

Today was senior chapel- meaning the seniors all stood up and briefly told what they had gleaned from Grace Academy and what they were going to move toward after next week's graduation. I try very hard not to miss these kinds of days.

Since I entered after the start I was sitting toward the back and could see many of the parents and families of the students poised with cameras and big smiles awaiting their student's turn. I know many of the students because of Garrett's involvement in his class and from being around GA for so long. There were not too many moments that were different than I expected as I sat waiting for the next to get up; the silly are still pretty silly, the sober are just that and the typically gracious are still gracious.

In my mind, just yesterday I was graduating from high school, though it has been almost 30 years now. The students in this senior class are a great bunch; many really and truly love the Lord and are committed to serve Him. As I thought about the ones I know more about, tears came to my eyes. God has done such an amazing work and I was just sitting back there rejoicing in His kindness to so many.

One that started the entire tear thing was a young lady whose parents were right in front of me. Just over a month ago she was not saved and God answered the prayer of so many who were petitioning Him to have mercy on her soul. Garrett told his Bible teacher that he had been praying for the salvation of 2 people and before he could turn in the paper God had answered that prayer in both of their lives.

As a dad I am especially excited that my high school senior would be praying for the salvation of others- God has worked in an amazing way in his heart.

AS an aside; the students named teachers who had really impacted their life and many named the same couple of teachers. It is interesting that those who impact student's lives are not necessarily the really fun- "I want to be your friend type"- but the ones who are a godly example and bring them back to Scripture. There's a pattern to follow after.

With the big day right around the corner, with much gratitude in my heart for what God has done in Garrett's life and in the lives of so many of these students, I wait with excitement to see what He will do in the lives of those students who truly want to live for Him and serve Him, whatever that may look like.

God is so AMAZING!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It seems like people are worn out right now; tired from all the things that are on their plates. While I do understand being tired and am currently irritated with the amount of sleep I am requiring, I also know that God is on control, even of our task list.

Ps. 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Before we were ever created God knew exactly how each one of us was going to be, even that we would be tired right now. He knew May would be a busy month and that we would be unseasonably cold here, that there would be graduations for some and weddings for others and both for yet others.

All these things are opportunities to give Him praise and to delight in who He is and what He is doing in and around us. The God of the universe cares for each one of us and we should spend our days in praise to Him for His steadfast love and care for people like us.

I think it's ok to be tired, but not if it takes away our joy in the process and not if we are agitated with God over how He made us. He planned from eternity past the work for us to do, Eph. 2:10, and He gives the strength to complete every single task that is on our list, Phil. 4:13.

As SKH spoke about in 128 this past Sunday, we are each one members of the body and the body is dependent on each member, to show up, to do its part, and to rely on Christ's strength working in us to carry out that task. Be tired, but be about the Father's business, while it is still called today and you still have breath.

Monday, May 17, 2010

PG Update

I haven't given you updates as often as I should have been and this weekend our internet was out at home, which is probably ok, since I need a break from my computer every once in a while.

It seems like there are many people who are interested in getting bids and talking about doing something but not as many who are actually pulling the trigger. Sales have been more quiet than we would like and of the ones we have signed up, many are not ready to go right now.

Please pray that God would bring in a good amount of signed contracts and that many would be ready to go on the board for install, as this allows us to keep the guys working.

I read Is. 40 this morning and was reminded that it is God who provides and gives strength as we trust in Him. He knows exactly what we need and He promises to supply that need and I must JOYFULLY rest in His control. It is easier to rest in His care when we know we can't do more than we are doing already.

He is SO kind.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Exciting News

I'm going to post this on both blogs, since it has to do with both.
This afternoon John and I went to watch Garrett compete in districts in track; yesterday was his district golf day. On the way home I decided to ask John some questions.

He had told me that he got a 97% on his last Bible test and so I would like to know where he is coming from.
Q#1- Do you think the Bible is true? A#1- Yes.
Q#2- How do you know? A#2- Because God wrote it. I like that answer.
We talked about Heaven and Hell and what would happen if he died tonight on the way home, about having to be perfect to get into Heaven, that there is only one perfect person, and he said it is Jesus- who is God- I think the Trinity is a bit hard for him to fully grasp right now, but I guess that is kind of the case with us all. I asked him what Heaven is like and he didn;t really know much about that or anything about Hell. I explained bodies that doesn't die and living either in eternal pain of no pain and he certainly seems to understand all that. I asked him again what would happen if he dies tonight and he said he would go to Hell.

Then I asked him if he wanted to change that and he said "yes". I tried to take it away a bit and told him he needed to come home and talk to Teresa about what he was thinking about doing. He really seems to know what I said and of his need of a Savior. We talked about praying to ask Jesus into his heart, how Jesus could make his heart clean and how being a Christian means you read your Bible and obey it as the Holy Spirit works in each one of us to make us love him more. I think he gets it.

we prayed together and he asked Jesus to come into his heart and make his heart clean and to help him obey. He thanks God for his new family and he is a new person- as easy as that. I then asked him if he dies today what would happen. He said he would go to hell because he is not perfect. It's hard to imagine that the redemptive work of Christ can take place in 1 minute and w/o a bunch of work, but that is God's plan- how awesome is that?!!!

God is so kind to us. He brought us a new son, and then as you all prayed for him He answered those prayers. What an awesome day!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Surgeons and Anesthesiologists

My random brain was bouncing around this morning as I was walking and this is what I was thinking about.

In light of Kimmy's recent successful surgery and also in light of Sean's messages on Sunday about truth, think about this. Would people line up to have a surgery if they didn't use anesthesia? The scalpel is a very sharp instrument made to cut precisely where the surgeon applies the blade, but without anesthesia there would still be extreme pain and many would die from shock before they could realize the benefits of the surgery. On the other side of the patient there is the anesthesiologist. What good would it be if he just put you to sleep and you woke up with all the same preexisting conditions? Sure, you would have slept, but there would be no long lasting benefits from his work.

Here is where I connect this to Sean's message; I hope. Truth and love go hand in hand. The Word is sharper than any 2 edged sword, or scalpel, and yet Jesus, the master surgeon and anesthesiologist used both perfectly together. He, like no other, had the corner on truth, as He is Truth revealed. He could have wielded truth like a giant sword, flaying open all who came near to Him, and in certain instances He did that. But He also used the "anesthesia" of love and kindness to administer truth as He went, It's His kindness that leads us to repentance, Romans 2:4. He had every right to slice people with the truth and hold them to a perfect standard, but He knows our frame, that we are weak and but dust.

If we are Christians, like Christ, then we must endeavor to be more like Him each day. We must balance truth and love together so that the world will know we are His and give them a reason to ask us about the hope that is in us. If we don't give truth, or if we give truth without love, why would they want what we have.

May God grant us the wisdom, strength, courage and humility to be balanced in this area; souls depend on it. May our lives be both extremely sharp and filled with compassion as we walk in obedience to His calling to make disciples. Disciples won't follow someone they don't view as one they want to be like and they won't follow long one who is too harsh in their approach. I think this is why Jesus calls us to be servants and leaders.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who is Garrett?

The son that used to be our youngest is graduating soon; Garrett. Since Garrett didn't go into cardiac arrest and he is not as outspoken as Kimmy, many don't know him that well.

Garrett is a very special young man. Yes, he is like his parents in that he talks too much, but the nit generally doesn't fall too far from the tree. So who is this Garrett guy and what is he like.

Garrett may be one of the wittiest people I know. It is dangerous to get into a verbal spar with him because his brain is very quick. He is a very good athlete, but like his parents, he will never be exceptional at any, just pretty good at most. He currently is playing golf and do multiple track and field events; maybe the first person at Grace Academy to do that. I think he will go to districts in both and we'll see about state. He's good at basketball and soccer as well.

But past sports who is he? I told him when he was in the 10th grade that from here on out he was required to get a 4.0 and he has done that, even while taking advanced courses like calculus.

He loves people. Garrett is the person who keeps in contact with all the kids who leave the school to go to running start or public school; he always makes them feel welcome. He takes interest even in the younger kids. It is not uncommon for us to have a few seniors at our house and some freshman as well. Garrett also loves our cat.

He is not afraid to ask hard spiritual questions of his friends. He shares what he is learning and desires that others would also grow in Christ. He is one of the most disciplined people I know. I told him in the 6th grade that he should do 20 push up and sit ups every night before he went to bed. 2-3 years later I asked him how he was doing with that and he told me(with some coercion) that he had not only never missed but he had upped him reps to something like 200 of each.

He is very quick to serve others. Last Saturday his small group leader- not me- needed some help moving 7 yards of pea gravel, with a shovel and wheel barrow. I told Garrett he needed help and he went over and worked at it until they had completely finished. When we asked the kids about getting John, even though Garrett would have to share his room and share his senior year activities with a new brother, he was quick to say that we should do it. He has not complained one time about having us dividing our time with he and John.

Garrett is tender hearts, fun, loves people, bright, caring, ripped and a friend to many. If you don't know him, I hope you have the opportunity to talk to him and get to know him. God has truly blessed our family by giving him to us.

We love you Garrett and can't wait to see what God does with your life as you give it over to Him.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A New Challenge for YOU!!!

Ps. 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

SKH made mention, sometime on Sunday, that we are to encourage one another of God's goodness as we rehearse what He has done in our lives and in the lives of those around us. I hope this blog is a place that shows off God's goodness and faithfulness and I would like to invite any and all to make this a place that you can publicly post God's goodness. I would love to have this be the doorpost on which others can come and nail up their praises.

For all of you "non-bloggers" you can post a comment here and I will make a post for your praise. We must encourage each other with God's awesomeness as He works in or lives. What did God do for you yesterday that we all need to hear?

I'm going to go first. On Wednesday night Teresa and I were in Orlando at a tradeshow. My phone rang at around 11pm and it was Kimmy's phone. Se was going in for surgery the next day so I figured she was calling to give us an update. It was her phone but not her; it was Amanda. Amanda is in Kimmy's small group and I have been talking to and praying for Amanda for about 3-4 months about the health of her soul. I often would walk up to her and ask her "How is your soul?" since she has not been shy to tell me that she was not a believer. I use the word "was" because she called me to tell me that she had gotten saved the night before.

Many people were talking to her and praying for her and God chose to answer our prayers and water the seeds that had been planted. How awesome is that. God is still saving people and we need to be witnesses for Him and also give Him praise when He graciously acts.

Not all our praises will be this life changing, but we still need to make them known so all will be encouraged. If you are too reluctant to post here you can email me at

I'm excited to hear what God is doing in your life. Read this entire chapter and fill in what Gos has done for you personally.

PG Update

April is finished- how quickly time flies- and I thought April showers were supposed to bring May flowers, not more showers.

Our record setting pace in March gave way to more normal sales in April. While I love to be really busy at PG and have lots of sales coming in, I do know that it is God Who brings each one and He knows our needs, which means I must trust Him to supply exactly what it is that we need each day and month. I am so thankful that He is in charge of all these things.

Right now we are in the throws of the 127 Adoption fund raising event, coming on the 15th of this month, to be followed by Kimmy and Ian's wedding in just over 6 weeks, so there is plenty going on in our lives right now. All very good things and all with their own set of needs to be attended to.

Please pray for PG sales, for safety for the crews as they labor, for wisdom for us to know exactly what it is that we need to do in each situation and for God's continued blessing in all of these areas.

Also, please pray for 127 Adoptions and the fund raising event, for wisdom for all who are working on the team and for God to make it abundantly clear where we are to take this as we follow His leading. Pray for the more than 140 million orphans in the world.

Please pray for the wedding planning and for Kimmy and Ian. Pray for Ian as he starts to make decisions for the future with regard to housing and employment in NC, that he would finish well in school this week, that Kimmy would continue to gain strength after her surgery and that we would be ready to celebrate the union of these 2 with all we need to do, since the wedding and reception are at our house. Fun times to watch God work.

God has richly blessed us in so many ways and I don not want to be one who forgets what He is doing or one who forgets to give Him praise for what he has done. We must be a thankful people.